END guitarist Greg Thomas talks working with Will Putney, what he misses about shows, and more (interview)

The massively-heavy band END is a supergroup of epic proportions. With the star power of vocalist Brendan Murphy (Counterparts), guitarist/producer Will Putney (Fit For an Autopsy), guitarist Greg Thomas (ex-Shai Hulud, Zombie Apocalypse, etc.), bassist Jay Pepito (Reign Supreme), and drummer Andrew McEnaney (Trade Wind, Struc/tures), the band has tracks so heavy you’ll want to throw down no matter the scenery. I had a chance to speak to Greg about the band before their first album Splinters from an Ever-Changing Face releases June 5th.

The New Fury: You’ve had a hand in production with Shai Hulud on Misanthropy Pure, how does it feel to work with a fellow producer in Will Putney?
Greg Thomas: Will is someone I met through production; I did pre-pro with him for an album in 2013. After meeting him and watching the trajectory of his career, I have a lot of respect for him. It’s super cool working with a fellow producer and it’s relaxing as there’s a back-and-forth dynamic of “do you wanna add this little trick here?” and it really contributes to how violent and intense END can get.

TNF: You’ve also had side band experience with Zombie Apocalypse (with other Shai Hulud members), is it easy to switch between bands’ sounds on a whim?
Greg: Yeah, with Zombie Apocalypse, the idea was short, fast, aggressive songs. We played our first show in 2004 and, 16 years later, we’re writing/performing similarly in style. I’ve been wanting to do this with my own writing for years, so finding other musicians wanting the same thing is great.

TNF: What do you miss the most about live performances?
Greg: The style we play thrives in a live environment more than anywhere else because of the kinetic energy present, especially with the other forces in the band. We’ve been lucky enough to have the audience respond pretty favorably in our shows. You can’t get that sitting at home listening to a record, it’s so cathartic to play it live. The energy is what I miss the most!

TNF: What do you miss the least?
Greg: I don’t miss the load-in/load-out. I don’t mind the night drives where the guys and I listen to records in the van, but the equipment end of it is where when you’re getting into your late 30s, it’s definitely the least fun element.

TNFSplinters from an Ever-Changing Face was completed in December. Is it hard to wait for an album to be released to the world?
Greg: We had actually written and tracked the album a year prior! We wrote this right as the first EP came out, the mixing came into fruition in December. A piece of advice to younger bands: being patient and getting a release just right is a discipline that is worthwhile. With this, we did it all in one block, but when we went back to mix it later on, we were able to sit on it and make decisions on it. It feels weird, but you have to feel confident that it’ll come out eventually in the right way.

New Fury Media thanks Greg for taking the time to speak to us. END’s new album has obviously been in the works for a while and the anticipation is palpable. I look forward to reviewing Splinters from an Ever-Changing Face closer to its release date!